100 Mile Training, Week #4

Easing back into the mileage this month, especially since it is now August and that means a super busy time for me as a teacher.  Planning ahead is going to be key in fitting everything in!

This has been a great week with some fun runs, ice cream cake for my birthday, a meet up with my awesome running friend Karen, and even a college visit for Hunter.  I’ll let the pics tell our story this week…

A College Visit!

Hunter and I drove the 3.5 hours out to Clarion University for a preview day.  His first college visit!  We learned a lot about the school and had a great time on the tour.  Hunter will be a junior this coming school year, but we want to get him thinking about his options early, especially if he is going to wrestle in college!   The school was so nice and it reminded me a lot of West Chester U where I went.  It makes me so excited for him!

The dorms are absolutely amazing inside!


We finished our tour right before the storms let loose.

We had a nice dinner at the Pizza Pub to talk things over before heading back home.  It was a fun road trip for us!

Hawk Mountain and Lunch with Karen!

Saturday I met up with my friend Karen for some hiking at Hawk Mountain.  We’ve known each other since our kids were little (and they are pretty much the same ages), so we had a lot to talk about and catch up on!  Karen and I met in an online running group back when I started running and had no running friends!  It was awesome to find out that she lived in PA.  We continue to meet up whenever we can, around our busy schedules.  We’ve also run a few races together, although Karen is a fast road marathoner and I am an ultra trail runner, so races have not been our meet up event in awhile!

Karen bought me this awesome orange sticker for my birthday :).  You actually had to pay to get on the trails at Hawk Mountain, so I would recommend getting your money’s worth and doing the Skyline Trail like we did.  hahaha

Can you believe this trail we chose?  We literally had to climb right over that rock where the blue paint is!  And then for another half mile or so down to somewhat flat ground!


You definitely could not hike this trail with something in your hands!


Here is a view from one of the first lookouts.  Honestly, you drive to the top of the mountain to park and start your hike, so the elevation we did wasn’t crazy.  You can see this view without too much effort!

To the left in the center you can see the “River of Rocks” which is kind of like Boulder Field if you have been to Hickory Run State Park.  We didn’t take the 4 mile loop trail out there because we were ready for lunch, but that would probably be a neat area too.

A Long Run

Here’s my favorite view from today’s long run on Buck Ridge Trail.  I haven’t really run here all summer, so it was fun doing the out and back to Pine Grove.  It’s a 6 mile trail connecting two parks.  I usually start on a trail farther from the trail head for Buck Ridge so I can get some extra miles in.


This Week’s Mileage

Monday:  10 mile cycle

Tuesday:  4 trail miles

Wednesday:  gym for lifting/core and 7 evening trail miles on the AT, and the day I officially entered a new age group!

Thursday:  off (This was not a planned rest day.  I just got caught up in doing things…or not doing things…around the house.  I planned to go in the evening after I took my son to work and then we had some storms moving through so I bagged it.)

Friday:  2 faster road miles @ 8:30 avg pace, then it was time to hit the road for Clarion!

Saturday:  2.5 mile hike and 4 slow trail miles with my aging dog.  He’s pretty sore today.  He may be done with runs and stick to walks from now on.

Sunday:  14 trail miles

Exciting Week Ahead!

I will be running the Ragnar Trail Appalachians Relay in West Virginia this Friday and Saturday with an awesome team!  Hi Team, if you are reading this!  Because of my birthday timing we get to compete as Masters.  isn’t that awesome?  I have never done any type of relay before, but I love my trails, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be epic!

Before we go, I need to do a night run to test out my new headlamp.  And of course I need to pack.

I plan to do another blog post before Thursday, so have a great week until then!

Have you ever hiked at Hawk Mountain?

Have you ever done a Ragnar Relay?








Week #1 of 100 Mile Training & Comparing Ultras to Childbirth?

It is a daunting task for sure, figuring out how to get myself to the start line healthy, trained, and capable of running 100 miles.   Let’s be honest, 100 miles is a whole different kind of beast.  Anything can happen.  I know that I cannot possibly prepare for every scenario I will be faced with during a race of this distance.   At some point all the physical training I’m going to do leading up to the race is only going to get me so far.  Then I’m just going to have to keep moving forward and make sure my mental game is strong!  “Relentless forward motion,” is my favorite mantra and I’m sure I’ll think of a lot more before December.

I’ve heard others describe the pain cave of a 100 mile race as equal to or greater than the pain of child birth.  Well, if that’s the case, I did my pain management training 13 and 16 years ago!  hahaha  Two natural childbirths, no meds whatsoever…only a birthing ball, my husband’s poor hand to crush, and a nail on the wall as a focal point to manage the pain.  I figure if I can push an almost 9 pound baby out of my lady parts, then I can run 100 miles, right?  They say you forget the pain once they put the baby in your arms and you look into their sweet little faces, but I still remember staring at that nail on the wall, squeezing my husband’s hand, and feeling like I was being crushed by a Mac truck from the inside out every 30 seconds.  And that was after having puked all over the hospital floor!  Hell, I pushed for 3 hours straight with my firstborn, after about 5 hours of labor and 2 days of back labor and not being able to hold down any food.  That being said, both times were the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my entire life.  I cannot even describe how amazing it felt each time to know that my boys are here because of the pain I endured.

We can laugh about the parallels between child birth and running 100 miles, but I guarantee you that those are the two main experiences I’m going to be drawing on when times get really tough during the race.  And they will, that’s a given.  It will be one of the hardest things I will do willingly in my life, but crossing that finish line will be epic.  The best part is that there will be no diaper changing in the months to follow.  I’ll take a nice shiny belt buckle instead.  Hahahaha!

Actually the best part is going to be sharing this experience with Jen.  She is tough as nails and destined to be my trail sister.   We’re in this together!


Awesome Training Advice

I came across this blog post today and I think it has some great tips for anyone getting ready to run 100 miles.  I know I will be rereading this a lot over the next 5 months!

A Century or Bust


Training Week #1

I’ll just call last week the first week of training because I figure anything I do from here on out will be preparing me for this race.  I’ve just been trying to establish a regular running cycle lately and to work my long run back up.  I’m going to scale the miles back a little bit this week and then increase again over weeks 3 and 4.  That worked well during my last training cycle.

Monday:  rest

Tuesday:  8 trail miles

Wednesday:  travel day to Nashville for a teaching conference

Pretty epic view from 34,000 ft though!
Best barbecue I have ever had.  If you are ever in Nashville, you have to eat here.  Guy Fieri  featured this place on DDD for a reason!  

Thursday:  2 miles on hotel treadmill (my only option and I did not enjoy one second of this).  30 minute workout with weights, leg press, rowing machine, and kettle bells

Friday:  travel day home/ rest

Saturday:  8 super easy paced trail miles (Went exploring to find the awesome overlook I came across last spring when I almost got lost during a run.  Found it pretty easily and will definitely be making this a regular run.  I sat here for awhile just enjoying the solitude and the view.)


Sunday:  17 miles on the Appalachian Trail (Ran an easier section that is more runnable trail than I’m used to.  I figure I should try to do trails like this more often for this training.  I’m still planning to work some elevation into my long runs though, just not every time since Devil Dog’s elevation gain is more friendly than Cayuga was!)

I couldn’t stop laughing at the picture of the guy on this sign.  I know how it feels to do a face plant!

So that’s where I’m at currently.

What is your favorite mantra?

Have you ever been to Nashville?

I had a great time there and would love to go back again someday!